Alice is the first book of a duology written by Christina Henry and published in August 2015. It is a dark retailing of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carol. I heard of this book from several booktubers and I was intrigued by its content. I have to admit that I stopped reading due to a lack of time and motivation, but now I’m back on track ! This book is 291 pages long, but as I read it on my kindle (not spon lol), I really didn’t see the time passing and even for a non native speaker, the language used was in no way complicated. You all know the story of Alice in Wonderland, right ? In this novel, you’ll meet several of the characters of the original story and feel…. Quite different about them !
I am still really bad with summaries, so let me find one who will do justice to this book !
“Alice begins with an introduction to our eponymous protagonist, a young woman who has spent the last ten years in a hospital ward for the insane along with the city’s other undesirables. She can’t remember the events that precipitated her imprisonment, and only knows what she’s been told – that as a girl she went missing, and then was later found again beaten and broken, one cheek slashed open and blood running down between her legs, gibbering nonsensically about “the Rabbit”. Now Alice finds herself mostly forgotten by the world, and her only friend is another prisoner called Hatcher, a multiple murderer who talks to her through a mouse hole in the wall connecting their cells.
One night, a fire breaks out in the hospital allowing Alice and Hatcher to escape, but the two of them are far from free. A shadowy monster known as the Jabberwocky is on the hunt, and it has their scent. The only way to be rid of the beast is to slay him with a magical blade, forcing Alice and Hatcher to seek it out in the heart of Old City where they will face monsters of a different sort – for this is where the magician crime lords rule, feeding off the fear and misery of the populace. Within their ranks are the men known as Cheshire, Caterpillar, the Walrus…and to Alice’s dismay, her old enemy the Rabbit.” (credit to The BiblioSanctum‘s article on Alice, take a look at this review too ! )
I will now try to organize my review a bit more than the last one I made !
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I felt like every character was broken or did something wrong or twisted. I do not complain about that though ! It was interesting to see that the only pure characters where quite in a bad position. I still don’t know if I “ship” the relationship (in its large meaning) between Alice and Hatcher because of the way it started, but it’s really nice to follow them around and see how much they help each other in their time of need. The Cheschire, the Rabbit, the Walrus, the Carpenter and the Caterpillar were seen like bosses to meet in order to achieve the final quest. But their representations were… disturbingly twisted. I won’t go in much details here because I don’t want to spoil anything, but if you wanna discuss some things with me, go ahead !
The plot was way darker than I thought it would be. If you don’t really like the image of blood or if you’re sensitive (in the way that you can’t separate fiction from reality) to the idea of little girls used in a very sexual way, you may not feel at your best during this reading. Christina Henry really doesn’t go easy on details and, in my experience, I pictured every scene in a very clear image. The plot followed the one of its ancestor (the quest of the Jabberwocky ) but the use of the “bosses” differs from the real story. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this story and it might be because I love everything dark and twisted.
I’ll try to re read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as soon as I’ll be in vacation.
The one regret I have concerning the book is that I found some confrontations with the bosses a bit “too light” and to quick, but it’s a detail !
As you can see, my review is still not the best ! But hey, I’m not a pro 😛
I hope you will enjoy this book as much as I did, because it was really “interesting” (a word you will find again several times in the book btw) and different from what I’m usally reading ! For my part it’s most likely a 4.5/5 !